Locals on Mook Island in Kan Trang sub-district, Trang province, showed tourists the Oriental Pied Hornbill, one of 13 hornbills that are endangered and hard to see but are most common on Mook Island, more than 100 of them on the island.
In the morning, this species of hornbill goes in search of food such as fruits and insects. They frequent resorts, local orchards and peat swamp forests on the island. Therefore, tourists can see them in the morning and evening
Sornchai Srisaman, a resort entrepreneur on Mook Island, said the Oriental Magpie Hornbill has become more familiar with the locals over the past 4 – 5 years. They usually travel in pairs and sometimes drop by a resort to have a bite to eat while the tourists are there.
Sometimes they also play with the locals’ chickens. Sometimes they also pass by a motorbike, which is a sign of familiarity and trust, after the locals have tried to protect them, not to hit them, drive them away or make loud noises. The community also tries to plant wild fruits like Banyan trees, Caryota urens, and Thai Blueberry as their food.
All 13 breeds of Thai hornbill are protected wildlife under the Wild Animal Reservation and Protection Act, B.E. 2535. The Oriental Pied Hornbill, the smallest of all hornbill breeds, is most common in some provinces in southern Thailand.
The hornbill is honored for its royal fidelity to its mate. When one partner dies, the other partner remains alone for the rest of its life.